Food Aid Quality ReviewProducts, Processes, and Price

Project Team

The objective of this project is to develop a consensus surrounding the issues of food aid’s nutrient specifications and formulations across a range of stakeholder groups, among which are key officials at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), who can ensure the implementation of recommendations emerging from the project.

This project is now complete and the final report has been published. Some of the key findings of the report include discussion of the fact that USAID and its partners on the ground have already achieved remarkable impacts under the most challenging of circumstances. Most food aid now responds to humanitarian crises, and specification of products has to be framed in that context, without ignoring the valuable food-assisted work conducted outside of emergencies.

Yet, there is much scope for improvement. Smarter programming, more careful targeting, greater attention to cost-effectiveness (in relation to planned human outcomes, not just numbers of people “fed”), enhanced coordination and streamlining of U.S. government interagency processes, enhanced policy harmonization among international players, and application of best practice in product formulation and production can markedly increase the impact of U.S. food aid resources.

Improving the Nutritional Quality of U.S. Food Aid: Recommendations for Changes to Products and Programs

This review and its summary are part of a long-standing USAID effort to improve the quality of food aid products and programs as priorities and needs evolve. The authors here present the findings and recommendations of a two-year assessment of quality issues relating to Title II food aid products. The report and its summary address not just the nutritional quality (composition) of food aid, but also the nature of programming and the processes that support programming, from procurement through to delivery.

Selection and Use of US Title II Food Aid Products in Programming Contexts

This report addresses how food products are currently used and whether interventions are appropriate to achieve nutrition objectives. Further, the authors explore the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of specific foods and programs, recommending further research on this subject and on nutrition support for HIV/AIDS. They also suggest investment in behavior change communication.

The study concludes that clearer programming guidance and improved decision tools are needed to match products to nutrition goals, and that programs should consider delivering nutrients across a basket of commodities, not single products.